Health Insurance Plans for Truck Drivers, Owner Operators and OTR
Truck drivers have similar challenges as fulltime RVers when it comes to trying to secure health insurance that is both affordable and flexible enough to provide nationwide coverage. Over the Road (OTR) drivers in particular have a challenge when they are long miles from their home state and need medical care. Some trucking companies offer their employed or contracted drivers health insurance options but that coverage might come at a high cost to the driver or be lacking in benefits.
So How Does a Trucker Go About Getting The Best Medical Insurance?
Well the answer depends on a few factors. We explore those below…
Truckers on Medicare (either over age 65 or on disability)
If you have Medicare then you are way ahead of the game because the Original Medicare program already provides you with access to medical providers nationwide through the Medicare participation program. Regardless of the hype out there that doctors are leaving the Medicare program in droves, the fact remains that 9 out of 10 doctors still take Medicare, according to Forbes. So, the best thing to do if you are a trucker on Medicare is to make sure you keep Original Medicare intact. Here’s how…
Keep Original Medicare and Get a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan
When you turn 65, if you worked and paid taxes for at least 40 quarters (10 years) as a US citizen then you automatically qualify for Original Medicare Parts A and B. However, even though this coverage is good it is not comprehensive and most people who retain Original Medicare end up getting a Medicare Supplement insurance plan (or Medigap as it is also called) in order to fill in the “gaps” Medicare leaves open. Medigap plans are standardized by the federal government; so most of the plans offered in each state are the same (with a few exceptions) and all plans with letters A-N are identical by law. With Original Medicare plus a good Medicare Supplement plan like Plan G plus Medicare Part D for prescriptions (more on that below) a truck driver (or anyone for that matter) would be covered very well!
Get a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan from Lasso Healthcare
A Medicare Medicare Savings Account plan is a type of Medicare Advantage. Generally, a Medicare Advantage plan (also called Medicare Part C, or MA/MAPD) is not a good choice for a traveler because these plans require you to use the plan’s network of providers which, in most cases, is not a nationwide network. Many people have issues using their Medicare Advantage plans when they are not in their home state (or even home County). Just ask the thousands of snowbirders that leave Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in the winter and try to use their plan in Florida.
However, the Medical Savings Account plan from Lasso Healthcare is different. MSA plans work just like Original Medicare when it comes to accessing care. That means that with a Lasso Healthcare MSA plan you can see any doctor or hospital in the country who takes Original Medicare. There are no provider networks to speak of with MSA plans. By law, Medicare providers are required to accept and bill your Lasso MSA plan.
So, what’s the difference between a Lasso MSA plan and a Medicare Supplement plan and which options is better for an OTR truck driver on Medicare? Well, both are excellent options for truckers because they give you great coverage anywhere in the United States (and even in Canada and Mexico with some Medigap plans), but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
A Medigap plan has a monthly premium (roughly $100-$200 per person per month depending on your age and what state you buy it in). An MSA plan has no monthly premium because it is funded by Medicare. A Medigap plan offers first-dollar coverage with no gaps. An MSA plan offers first-dollar coverage but then there is a gap before your benefits reach 100% coverage.
Truckers not on Medicare (under age 65 usually)
For drivers that do not qualify for Medicare things are a little more complicated. Nevertheless, we believe we have some good options for you to consider that are working very well for our recreational vehicle dwellers. All of the options that we offer our community of RVers are also available to you as a truck driver. So, we recommend heading on over to our Health Plan Options Guide to view the options we offer. If you prefer to speak with us about your options on the phone then you are welcome to contact us by clicking here and we will reach out to you directly.
Thanks for visiting and we appreciate the work you do as a trucker…keeping things moving for all of us!
Founder of RVer Insurance Exchange